Posted by: reefrescue | May 29, 2013

Reef Rescue public comment – Palm Beach Port Expansion

If you care about Blue Heron Bridge diving and snorkeling your opportunity to comment on the Palm Beach Port Expansion ends Monday, June 3rd. 

The Reef Rescue public comment letter raises concerns about what impact the Army Corp of Engineers proposed expansion of the Port of Palm Beach will have on Blue Heron Bridge diving.

BHBSNORKEL

The Army Corp Feasibility Study and EIS says blasting and dredging for the 100 million dollar Port of Palm Beach expansion will adversely impact nearby sea life. Construction for the two year project will continue 24 hours a day, seven days a week and will produce silty water and other hazards in the vicinity of Peanut Island and the Blue Heron Bridge.

In comments sent to the ACOE, Reef Rescue cited a failure of the EIS to fully assess the impacts from turbidity, siltation and contaminated sediments on flora and fauna and the impact on diving/snorkeling at the world renowned Blue Heron Bridge (BHB).

Excerpts from the Reef Rescue public comment letter: …activities at both the BHB and Peanut Island can be severely impacted by turbidity, siltation, blasting and construction equipment associated with the proposed expansion project. All negative economic impacts resulting from the loss of recreational usage must be, and have not been, factored into the overall Port of Palm Beach Expansion economic assessment.”

“The document fails to take into consideration the physical and chemical nature of the suspended solids impacting the receiving environment… Marinas and boatyards are notorious for containing contaminated sediments, including Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAH’s), organic contaminants, heavy metals and most notably tributyltin (TBT)… there is a high likelihood agricultural and urban runoff pollutants may be present in sediments within the proposed port expansion footprint. The Port of Palm Beach receives runoff from the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA). Contaminates present in EAA sediments can include arsenic, pesticides, herbicides, DDT and its degradation products.”

“It is imperative that prior to any dredging/excavation authorization, within this unique environmental/recreational setting, a full understanding of potential contaminates, routes of exposure and long-term effects on the public health, flora and fauna be assessed. The Draft ACOE Feasibility Report and EIS in its present form fails to address these issues.”

The complete Reef Rescue comment letter can be viewed at: http://www.scribd.com/doc/144489950/Palm-Beach-County-Reef-Rescue-Port-Comments

The entire Draft ACOE Feasibility Report and EIS is available online at: http://www.saj.usace.army.mil/About/DivisionsOffices/Planning/EnvironmentalBranch/EnvironmentalDocuments.aspx#Palm_Beach

If you care about Blue Heron Bridge diving and snorkeling your opportunity to comment ends June 3rd. Email your comments to: Angela.e.dunn@usace.army.mil

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donatetoRR

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Responses

  1. I sent the email! I posted the thumbnail and my comment on my FB page. Thanks for getting the word out!

  2. Posted for my local friends to see on FB.

  3. where the hell in that report are these issues actually addressed? I am confused by the wording of this post, and for the rationale for this project in general (after e-mailing that woman biologist, who promptly diverted me to their lead economist, who dismissed my questions with ambiguous answers and NO concrete information as to why this project is economically incentivized!) — does anyone actually think e-mailing the folks responsible for this project is going to accomplish anything? call your senator if you really want to boycott this.

  4. Please stop destroying Palm Beach’s most natural and exciting beauty in the water….

  5. […] Port of Palm Beach expansion endangers Blue Heron Bridge. […]

  6. […] Blue Heron Bridge diving threatened by port expansion […]

  7. […] Reef Rescue Blog https://reefrescue.wordpress.com/2013/05/29/reef-rescue-public-comment-palm-beach-port-expansion/ […]


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